Re-signalling success on Brighton's mainline railway

Scott Parnell was delighted to support Kier Utilities over the last 12 months on the completion of the Brighton mainline re-signalling scheme.

The £16 million project, which has taken a year to complete, included the renewal of the trackside signalling equipment, which had not been updated since the 1980s. Used by 300,000 people per day, the line connects Gatwick Airport and the south coast with London. Ageing equipment meant that delays and congestion on the line were frequent. Kier was assigned by Network Rail to address this problem by replacing outdated installations with new and improved equipment. 

The project

The brief given to Kier was to replace equipment in order to make the line more reliable and easier to maintain. The works carried out included but was not limited to:

  • Replacing all 650V location equipment and cabling. This included installing a new feeder arrangement and 23 FSP for the nine feeders located between Haywards Heath and Preston Park.
  • Installing a total of 25 location cases and 3 combinations cases incorporating both locations case equipment and installing an FSP.
  • Installing sheet piling in two separate locations in order to stabilise the embankments which surround the new location cases.
  • Replacing signal distance signage.
  • Installing approximately 2,000 metres of ballast board retention in multiple areas across the site.
  • Installing new staging to accommodate a new FSP and location case.
  • Installing a new GRP route of 2,066 metres through the Clayton Tunnel.


The solution

The Clayton Tunnel is located on the Brighton mainline between Hassocks and Preston Park railway stations. As part of the work being undertaken by contractor Kier, the tunnel required 2,066 metres of new cable to be installed, which needed to be housed inside a new wall mounted GRP Cable Management System. Kier contacted Scott Parnell in spring 2018 to supply this system. The rail supplies specialist also provided Kier with 2,000 metres of lightweight concrete ballast board retention for installing at multiple areas across the site.

Scott Parnell's Network Rail-approved ArcoSystem was the ideal solution for the Clayton Tunnel element of the project. The lightweight elevated GRP troughing is supplied in lengths of 6 metres meaning fewer fixings are required, dramatically reducing the installation cost and time. Each length simply slides into position without the need for loose nuts and bolts, making it easy to install and light enough to be manually handled by one person. The benefits offered by ArcoSystem's innovative installation capabilities mean it minimises time on-site for engineers and reduces the associated risks for workforces working trackside.

In addition to its ArcoSystem, Scott Parnell also provided:

  • Lightweight concrete ballast boards
  • Lightweight concrete posts
  • 698no adjustable wall-mounting brackets
  • 2,754no lengths of stainless steel fixings

The verdict

A spokesperson for Kier Utilities said:

 "A massive thank you to everyone at Scott Parnell for their efforts over the last 12 months. The team has shown a great ability and attitude to supply products which are to a high standard, while maintaining a great working relationship. Scott Parnell's team never failed to meet important delivery dates efficiently and reliably, which was a major key to our overall success on the project. Network Rail has been very complimentary about the scheme and specifically Scott Parnell's ability to supply such high standard products."

ArcoSystem is fully PADS Approved and Scott Parnell holds the rail industry accreditation RISQS, which formally recognises the company as a capable provider of products and services. To get in touch with one of our experts, please complete our contact form here.



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